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Swelling in legs and painful knee joints

Sara2011's picture
Posts: 77
Joined: Oct 2011

I haven't been on the board for awile, but wanted to stop by and ask a question.  I was diagnosed with stage 1C ovarian a year ago, had a complete hysterectomy, oopherectomy, omenectomy, and the removal of several lymph nodes (not sure how many).  I went through 8 rounds of taxol/carboplatin (once every three weeks) and finished my chemo a year ago in February.  I have had 2 flare ups in this past year of swelling in my legs and very painful knee joints.  This just happened again out of the blue a couple of weeks ago toward the end of my work day, I could barely walk to my car my legs were so painful.  I can tell I have fluid build up in my ankles and knees.  I am wondering if there are others that have finished treatment and have dealt with this and if so, what did you do about it.  What kind of doctor did you see to get some help.  I went to an orthopedic doctor the last time this happened and got a cortisone shot, which did help to clear up some of the pain I was having.  I'd appreciate some feedback.  Thanks!

Posts: 93
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Sara,

I had swelling in my left leg and ankle.  My Dr had a Doppler (ultrasound) run on both legs.  It turned out I had a bloodclot in a superficial vein behind my knee.   I also had a clot in my deep vein which was a problem.  I had to give myself shots in the stomach and ultimately needed a filter put in my vena cava. I am sure there are many other reasons for swelling but I think you should get it checked out.    Good luck.....Michele

lovesanimals's picture
Posts: 1364
Joined: Sep 2011

Nice to hear from you but so sorry you are having problems with your legs and knee joints.  I went through six rounds of taxol/carbo every three weeks and I finished just over two years ago.  I have not experienced the same problems as you but I agree with Michele that you should get it checked out.  I have a primary physician and when I have issues with my health, I go to him first and if necessary, he refers me to a specialist.

Good-luck and I hope you feel better soon!


Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2013

My dear, get thee to a lymphedema specialist!  I had the same thing happen in 2004 on my first OVCA diagnosis.  They did the hysterectomy, partial removal of the omentum and other sundry parts.  Coming out of surgery 30 lbs heavier than I went due to all the fluid pumped into me.  It took almost 5 years for someone to acknowledge that the swelling in my legs was not normal. Although it is a pain in the neck, I wrapped my legs for about three weeks and wear compression hose.  It has kept the swelling at bay, I no longer have any pain and my legs don;t feel like they weigh a ton and can barely lift them.


Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1229
Joined: Sep 2010

I had very painful knees, about 6 months after completing treatment.  Turns out, I have Hashimoto's (autoimmunity of the thyroid), which means I also probably have other autoimmune conditions.  Also turns out, that 100% of my naturopath's ovarian cancer patients also have Hashimoto's.  Seems to be a link.  Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition and would be triggered by some of the foods that stimulate autoimmunity in our bodies, primarily gluten.  I found that when I addressed the Hashimoto's the knee pain disappeared, very quickly.  I recommend the book "Autoimmune: The Cause and The Cure," and the diet it recommends.  It has worked wonders for me.

Alexandra's picture
Posts: 1311
Joined: Jul 2012


Back in 1998 I broke both knees in a car accident and they have been tender ever since. It never occured to me that something else could be causing knee swelling and pain that got progressively worse since ending chemo. Coupled with weight gain, dry skin, fatigue, forgetfulness... it could point to Hashimoto's. Can also be attributed to long-term chemo damage or estrogen deficiency. TSH test may be in order.

Kate, are you taking levothyroxine for Hashimoto's or just managing with diet?

Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2013

Thank you for posting about the Hashimoto's I had not even considered that possiblity nor has anyone mentioned it before, since I had 35 inguinal nodes removed during my first surgery. You would think that after all these years we would not have to be our own advocates and more of this information would be available!


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